Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Tree Bot

Packed with environmental sensors, an Internet-linked robot patrols the forest canopy.
February 14, 2004

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’sa robot in the trees? At the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility in Carson, WA, scientists have deployed a briefcase-size robot that rolls along a 50-meter-high cable strung between trees. Built by electrical engineer William Kaiser’s team at the University of California, Los Angeles, the robot comes equipped with environmental sensors, a still camera, a processor, batteries, solar cells, and a wireless link to the Internet. Programmed to patrol the forest canopy, the high-rolling robot maps changes in temperature, humidity, and sunlight. The researchers plan that in the future the device will also monitor carbon dioxide concentration, while documenting the growth of individual leaves and branches-measurements that were previously hard to make. The National Science Foundation is footing the bill, to pinpoint how much carbon and heat the trees absorb from the atmosphere; this could help researchers predict the climatic effects of harvesting and deforestation. Deployments are planned in three other forests by springtime, says Kaiser.

Other Prototypes

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.